GHOST — Opus Eponymous

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GHOST - Opus Eponymous cover
3.71 | 34 ratings | 4 reviews
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Album · 2010

Filed under Heavy Metal
By GHOST

Tracklist


1. Deus Culpa (1:34) (instrumental)
2. Con Clavi Con Dio (3:31)
3. Ritual (4:28)
4. Elizabeth (4:01)
5. Stand by Him (3:55)
6. Satan Prayer (4:36)
7. Death Knell (4:34)
8. Prime Mover (3:53)
9. Genesis (4:03) (instrumental)

Total Time 34:35

Line-up/Musicians

The real names of the band members have so far not been revealed.

About this release

Rise Above Records, 8th October 2010 in Europe
Metal Blade Records, January 18th, 2011 in North America

Recorded at Manfire Recordings and White Light Studio
Mixed and mastered at Orgone Mastering
Design by Trident Arts
All songs written by A Ghoul Writer (Mary Goore).

The first CD pressing was a limited slipcase edition.

Japanese edition bonus track:
10. Here Comes the Sun (The Beatles Cover) (03:24)

Also released as a Die Hard black vinyl edition limited to 300 copies with gate-fold sleeve in slipcase, A1 poster and embroidered patch. Shrink-wrapped.

Also released on vinyl:
x400 Solid Blue
x400 Clear with Black speckles
x300 Purple
x300 Tri-colour - Red, White & Blue
x300 Green with Black splatter
x300 Clear
x500 Black in Purple
x500 Transparent Blue
x500 Clear with Blue splatter
x500 Transparent Red/Transparent Blue 50:50 split
x500 Clear/Transparent Purple 50:50 split
x500 White with Black and Blue splatter

Also released on Icarus Music on May 08, 2012.

Thanks to J-Man for the addition and Time Signature, UMUR for the updates

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GHOST OPUS EPONYMOUS reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

UMUR
"Opus Eponymous" is the debut full-length studio album by Swedish heavy rock/metal act Ghost. The album was released though Rise Above Records in Europe in October 2010 and through Metal Blade Records in the US in January 2011. Ghost has been one of the most talked about acts in the last couple of years. Mostly because of their image and theatrical appearance, wearing hoods and masks (and not revealing their real names), but also because of their satanic/occult lyrics. The whole occult secrecy thing has definitely worked in the band´s favour, and they´ve experienced a lot of success in both Europe and in the US.

The music on the album is maybe a bit surprisingly a pretty soft type heavy rock/metal, greatly influenced by acts like Coven, Black Widow, Uriah Heep, Blue Oyster Cult (all 70s hard/heavy rock acts) and when they are most heavy Mercyful Fate. The "regular" rock instrumentation of guitar, bass and drums are supplemented by an omnipresent organ. Lead vocalist Papa Emeritus doesn´t possess the most powerful or distinct voice in the world, but the use of choirs and harmony vocals help elevate that part of the music to a higher level, than what I initially expected after listening to his voice the first time.

The 9 tracks on the 34:35 minutes long album are generally very simple vers/chorus compositions, with sing along choruses that work well for the most part. It´s only the short intro track "Deus Culpa" and the outro track "Genesis", which are both instrumentals, that doesn´t fit that description of the music.

Although "Opus Eponymous" might not be the most original sounding album, and Ghost use image and lyrical antics that quite a few artists have done before them, the album still comes off as a quality release with solid musicianship, a warm and organic sound production, and well written material. The music could have been structurally slightly more adventurous (although the band do spice things up with the occasional bridge or inserted section) but if you can appreciate easily accessible heavy rock/metal with instantly recognisable choruses "Opus Eponymous" delivers just that. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.
Stephen
GHOST was probably one of the new bands that's overly exposed by the media, and while it's hailed like hell, it's not really a great debut, and it's also way too short. Everything from the musicianship to the lyrics are basically average, or at least, thousands have done it before, but perhaps the gimmick that they're Satan soldiers worked very well to incite controversy and pump up sales because it's not common for heavy metal bands to carry this wicked theme after the famous days of Mercyful Fate.

The opening 'Deus Culpa' did have a nice eerie feel to it, 'Con Clavi Con Dio' is like a mixture of BLACK SABBATH and MUSE due to the heavy bass driven. Good track but I like 'Ritual' more, beside the fact that its riffs more of a 'Symphony of Destruction' rip-off, it's definitely an enjoyable track. 'Elizabeth' with an unusual chord progression is pretty good too. 'Stand By Him' is simply beautiful, perhaps the most melodic song in this album.

After that it went downhill. 'Satan Prayer' is a bit repetitive and painfully average track. 'Death Knell' has potential to become a nice doom track, but the chorus is kinda pale. 'Prime Mover' is a waste too. However, thing picks up again with 'Genesis', a nice instrumental closer. Production part is very good and for a short album, it didn't have many great tracks as I expected earlier but definitely not bad for a heavy metal debut. I gave it a 73% and good for an occasional spin!
Warthur
Honestly, whilst this short but sweet debut piece from Ghost is a decent enough evocation of traditional heavy metal stylings coupled with the lyrical subject matter of black metal (of the Mercyful Fate variety), I honestly don't find this album very satisfying. The vocals aren't especially good, there's slightly too much filler for an album which is under 40 minutes long, and in general it just doesn't seem to hold up to repeated listens. At best, it reminds me vaguely of older, better bands like Sabbath and Mercyful Fate and makes me want to put on Paranoid or Don't Break The Oath instead of listening to it. Competent but forgettable.
J-Man
Our Father Who Art in... HELL!

"Specific attention will be paid to targeting people (research suggests these are most likely to be adolescents) who have a void in their life, perhaps caused by some form of emotional trauma or upset. This can be alluringly filled by the music and philosophies of Ghost. In time, these easily manipulated children will come to share the views and goals of the Ghost ministry and can prepare their own plans for the downfall of humanity...."

For a band whose one and only goal is spreading the word of Satan through music and turning young people into devil-worshippers, the music of Ghost is really surprising. While I would expect black metal made by a bunch of angry Norwegian teenagers or death metal made by a bunch of angry American teenagers from such a description, it's pretty obvious that retro rock/metal wouldn't rank high on my expectation list. Taking influences from bands like Black Sabbath and Mercyful Fate, Ghost has created a blasphemous journey that is well-worth taking for an open-minded listener. I don't endorse the band's Satan-worshipping habits in any way, but I have a feeling that some of this is a bit tongue-in-cheek anyway. Ultimately, Ghost's biggest goal with Opus Eponymous was a failure. I have not been turned into a follower of Satan after hearing this album. However, this "anonymous ministry" has pleased me in so many other ways that their original goal is almost irrelevant. Fans of dark, evil, yet somehow beautiful 70's-oriented heavy metal will definitely want to give Opus Eponymous a shot.

This isn't the most "metal" album you'll ever hear, but there's enough metal riffing to definitely qualify. There's not much distortion in the guitars, and the production is also given a very raw, 70's-influenced sound. There's also organ throughout most of the album, which has serves two main purposes. First of all, it gives Opus Eponymous a creepy, church-like atmosphere. Secondly, the organ further adds to Ghost's retro-oriented sound, giving obvious nods to seventies heavy metal legends like Black Sabbath or Deep Purple. The vocals are completely clean - no growls, no shrieks, no distortion. Just pure pipes and I love it. The songs are actually fairly straightforward, with verse-chorus-verse structures as the name of the game. Every song is very memorable, especially tracks like "Ritual", "Elizabeth", and the very progressive closer "Genesis". The lyrics are very Satanic and over-the-top, without ever becoming extremely silly and meaningless. Some lines are pretty poorly written, but the vast majority of the album has well-composed lyrics. My biggest knock is the rather short playing time, at only 34 minutes. While there is no filler, another 10-15 minutes definitely could've worked.

Every musician in Ghost is completely anonymous - no first names, nicknames, nothing. We have no idea who played what - all we know is that, judging by their band picture, six people are in Ghost. There are rumors going around that these are all prolific musicians doing something a bit tongue-in-cheek, but it could also be a true Satan-worshipping ministry who decided to release an album.

Conclusion:

I was really taken by surprise by Opus Eponymous. Obviously, I knew nothing about the musicians that were in it, nor was I expecting a 70's-sounding metal album. The Satanic lyrics and short playing time can get in the way occasionally, but the great atmosphere and memorable compositions are enough to make up for any setbacks. 3.5-4 stars are well deserved here. People who like old school heavy metal with plenty of psychedelic and progressive leanings will definitely enjoy this. Few bands play this style nowadays, and hearing a new and original band like Ghost pleases me tremendously. Recommended!

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